Hate Crimes Charges Against Suspect In Williamsburg Mezuzah Burnings


After extensive questioning, police have charged Ruben Ubiles, 34, of Bedford-Stuyvesant with burglary, arson and criminal mischief as felony hate crimes, as well as reckless damage and reckless endangerment, reports said Friday.

The New York Times said Ubiles had a prior arrest record for robbery, assault and drug possession.

Ubiles was apprehended by police based on surveillance footage at a Williamsburg housing project where a mezuzah was burned on Tuesday. According to some reports Ubiles posted on Facebook that he was annoyed about Jews setting fires on streetcorners, apparently referring to chasidim burning chametz before Passover.

On Thursday Ubiles was charged with an unrelated crime, criminal contempt in connection with a violation of a court order of protection obtained by his girlfriend, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told The Jewish Week. 

NYPD Photo of Rubin Ublies.

YU President Issues Disclaimer On Jimmy Carter Honor At Cardozo

Assistant Managing Editor

Yeshiva University's president, Richard Joel, has issued a statement on his disagreements with Jimmy Carter in response to a student group's April 10th forum with the ex-president at YU's Benjamin Cardozo Law School.

Gillibrand: Syrian Rebels Must Accept Peace With Israel

Assistant Managing Editor

Peace with Israel and the protection of religious minorities must be conditions of U.S. support for a Syrian government following the fall of President Bashar Assad, said New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand after speaking with exiled opposition leaders in Turkey.

The Democrat, who serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees and is a leading pro-Israel voice in the Senate, was part of a bipartisan delegation last week to Jordan, Israel and Turkey.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem last week. Photo courtesy Sen. Gillibrand

Former British PM Margaret Thatcher, 'Staunch Friend of Israel,' Dies At 87


Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was considered a good friend of Israel despite a rocky relationship with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, has died.

Mrs. Thatcher died Monday after suffering a stroke. She was 87. Mrs. Thatcher suffered from dementia at the end of her life, which was dramatized in the 2011 movie "The Iron Lady," starring Meryl Streep as Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher with Menachem Begin, with whom she shared an uneasy alliance in the 1980s. Photo via

Pamela Geller 'Sharia' Event In Great Neck Spurs Activists On Both Sides

Staff Writer

Shortly after it was announced that Pamela Geller, an outspoken critic of radical Islam, would be appearing at Great Neck Synagogue April 14 to discuss the “Imposition of Sharia in America,” an e-mail and phone campaign sought to get the talk canceled.

Activist Pamela Geller says pressure to cancel her event has "seldom been this intense."

Comptroller's Database To Aid Holocaust Heirs

Staff Writer

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has created a new link on his website to help the heirs of Jewish Holocaust victims claim money in the state’s unclaimed funds database.

An initial search of the site against the names of 50,000 Holocaust victims and survivors turned up 4,000 matches. Now, the state is asking those claimants to check the website and confirm that there is truly a match.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli: Searched 28 million accounts.

Brooklyn Seniors To Keep Kosher Lunch Program; West Side Center Still Fighting

Coney Island, West Side centers serving elderly to shut down for non-budgetary reasons.

Assistant Managing Editor

One of two kosher lunch programs fighting to keep their doors open has won a reprieve, organizers and a city councilman told The Jewish Week Monday.

The city-funded Ocean Parkway Senior Center, which serves about 100 people, will share its current space with a new program for disabled seniors that will receive federal Medicaid dollars. Both will be housed at a building owned by Ahi Ezer Housing Development Fund Corp., a non-profit affiliated with a Sephardic congregation in Midwood.

Last month the organization served the senior center, run by the Jewish Commnity Council of Greater Coney Island with an eviction notice to make way for the new Social Adult Day Care program. But negotations between the two organizations and mediation by Coucilman Domenic Recchia Jr., resulted in a compromise.

“The Ocean Parkway Senior Center is a home away from home for many of Brooklyn’s seniors providing critical services and hundreds of meals on a daily basis to those who need it most," said Recchia, a Democrat who repesents parts of Coney Island and Brighton Beach, in a statement. "Its closure would have devastated our community and those whose lives it touches. That’s why this announcement is such an enormous relief and why it was so important that we fight to ensure that this center remain open to the community.” 

Still up in the air is the status of several dozen seniors who meet daily at Club 76 on the Upper West Side for a kosher lunch, companionship, help with services, and entertainment and exercise programs.

Among them is Ruth Shapiro, who moved to the Upper West Side 55 years ago, when her fmaily needed a bigger place than their Lower East Side apartment.

Today, she’s alone and about to turn 90.  

Kosher lunch program at West Side Institutional Synagogue feeds between 40 abd 75 seniors. Adam Dickter

92nd St. Y Says Roger Waters Canceled Appearance

Assistant Managing Editor

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, an advocate of boycotting Israel, won't be available for a controversial April 30th appearance at the 92nd Street Y, the Jewish cultural hotspot told its patrons Thursday.

"We heard from Roger Waters that he is unable to appear at the event scheduled for April 30," reads an email from the Y. " No further explanation for the cancellation was given, and the Y told The Jewish Week it would have no comment.

92nd St. Y's Roger Waters listing is short on details. Photo via

Health Department: Child Infected From Bris That Defied Consent Rule

Special To the Jewish Week

The mother of an infant who contracted herpes following a bris with direct oral suction last month denied receiving the required consent form from the mohel, whose name she refused to disclose to the New York City Department of Health, The Jewish Week has learned.

Historic Damascus Synagogue Looted And Burned


The 2,000-year-old Jobar Synagogue in the Syrian capital of Damascus was looted and burned to the ground.

The Syrian army loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebel forces are blaming each other for the destruction of the historic synagogue, according to reports on Sunday.

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